50 Things to Know to Downsize Your Life

Explosions in the skyI was a college graduate that went straight into the workforce.  My husband and I lived in a small apartment until we decided we wanted a house to have children in.  All my life I dreamed of a large “model” home.  The kind you see in Home Alone.  Big spacious rooms.  Maybe even a wrapping paper room.  I then moved into an newer 1100 square foot house where I wanted to start my family.  I tried to organize on the weekend but until I was a stay-at-home Mom, I realized that all my priorities were wrong. 
 
I created this plan to clean a different part of the house every day.  I created a spreadsheet, I put everything on there, then did it for about two weekend.  Why would I want to spend almost every day of my waking life thinking about how I have to clean or cleaning? 
I love the tiny house trend. I think this house is a perfect size for us.  I will need to do some creative thinking, and get away from commercialization but I think I can do it and I know you can too. 
 
My goal is to get my house where I want it so I can spend time on the things most important to me.  Relationships and experiences.  That is where I hope to spend my time and money in the future.  Stop buying stuff, stop cleaning stuff, stop organizing stuff, and live your life!

 

 
Bedroom
1. Guest Room
While relationships are a priority, living your life with an extra room you don’t use, or things that may be used by a guest for three out of 365 days of the year is a waste.  I am not saying you should not have people over.  They can stay at a hotel if they want a hotel quality room, or borrow your things.  Cost to stay at a hotel for 3 days a year.  $300.  Cost to have a room that you will need to heat and cool,  furnish, and clean for 365… probably more. 
 
2. One Nice Set of Sheets
You only need one pair of quality sheets.   When they get dirty wash them.  Just buy what is most comfortable to you.  You can spend a little more on good quality because you only need one.  When you are done with them donate them and buy yourself once nice set of sheets. 
3. Once Nice Comforter
Do people still really change their comforter for the seasons?  Then you would have to store this comforter.  Get one that you can use all year. 
4. Queen Size Bed
Who needs a king?  I like to feel the warmth of my husband under the blankets. 
5. Two Towels Per Person
I had a stack of towels that were falling over in the closet.  Every time I would do wash I would have to stuff them in to where the pile would fall over.  A person needs a clean towel and a dirty one.  When the towel gets dirty, clean it. 

 

 
 
Kitchen
6. Cook Books
You don’t need them.  Find the recipes online and bookmark them.  They are taking up space. 
 
7. Organize Plasticware

 

Don’t have a cabinet of take-out containers with the containers and lids thrown about.  For about $15 you can buy a Handy Gourmet Swirl Around Food Storage Containers.  This will take up 1 foot by 1 foot of your home.  I know you want to save those other containers, but even though they were free, storing them is expensive.  Recycle them.

 

 
Ever since I got pregnant I have worried more about my families health.  I was not “eating for two” but I was providing nutrition for someone who could not make a choice on their own. Since then I have been trying to prepare healthy meals ahead.  Before I use to bake to relax and distress.  Now I am trying to chop instead.  
 
Here are some of my prepare ahead food ideas.  Using this food storage container organizer to store the containers has been great!  No more searching for the lid.  This is very easy to organize as I take them out of the dishwasher.  
These plastic containers are amazing.  We do not need to have an entire cabinet of plasticware. Just a place on the shelf.  These food storage container organizers will take up 1 foot by 1 foot of your home.  I know you want to save those other containers, but even though they were free, storing them is expensive.  Recycle them. Please leave more tips for others to store their food.  

 

 
 
8. Start a Compost

 

Get a plastic container for outside.  Poke some holes in it.  Add dirt until about 1/8 or more full.   Get a plastic container inside that seals so your kitchen does not smell.  Put that one under your sink.  Add contents to the container in the kitchen.  If you are unsure what to add check online.  This has helped me be more aware of what I eat. 
 
9. Start a Recycle System
 
Once you start to have a system to put your paper, plastic, and cardboard, you won’t even think about doing it.
 
10. Call Trash Company
 
Now that you are composting and recycling, you probably have less trash.  Call the company to see if your billed can be lowered.  Many companies charge by the bag per week. 
11. Clean Out Your Cabinets
 
 
 
Since I had a little extra time on my hands, I decided to make my future life a little easier and  organize a little.  I am pretty happy with the results.
 
Clean out kitchen pots and pans.  Only keep the materials you use monthly in the main cabinets.  But other pans and appliances on higher shelves or donate them. This cutting board was too large for us.  We decided to buy a smaller one that was easier to store and clean in the dishwasher.  Homework:  Clean out cabinets and donate the materials you are now using.  Think about the food you prepare and what appliances you still need. 

Read more in the book “50 Things to Know to Downsize Your Life

 

 
This book will help you downsize your life. Relationships and experiences are a place to spend time and money. Stop buying stuff, stop cleaning stuff, stop organizing stuff, and live your life!
 
I wrote “50 Things to Know to Downsize Your Life” because I wanted to create a concise guide for people to follow to learn to live a better life with less. 
This is a collection of 50 simple tips that any person who would like to know while learning to downsize their life.
The book offers practical tips for your bathroom, kitchen, closet, bedroom, downstairs, children’s rooms, and even what to do with your extra time.  The book also includes 10 things to know to save money on your electric bill.

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SelfHelp

 
photo by: SergioTudela